The Road Safety Partnership (RSP-SA) is proud to announce their involvement in the Safe to School – Safe to Home: Scholar Transport Project again in 2022. Along with support from Toyota, NetStar and the City of eThekwini, the project aims to upskill and improve scholar transport providers.
The RSP-SA says the program addresses the issues responsible for scholar transports not meeting required standards. “These include improving driver fitness and behaviour, vehicle fitness, passenger behaviour, obtaining greater inclusion of schools, parents and communities in its improvement and, lastly, increasing compliance to policies and regulations meant to protect both drivers and passengers.
“This is achieved through a five-day road safety orientation workshop with drivers with time spent completing simulator exercises to identify weaknesses and opportunities for improvement. Driver performance will also be monitored during normal operating hours for better upskilling and provision of assistance based on personal driving habits. They will also learn how to handle incidents and receive first-aid training to assist should something go wrong.”
The project is based around issues that were identified as playing a significant role in crash statistics. “One of these is the non-compliance with relevant legislation from service providers. There is also very little relationship between drivers, schools and even parents as most work in isolation.
“A cognisance of driver schedules and the need to fit in with that to prevent loss of income was also essential. Attention is also paid to COVID-19 and what can be done to prevent its spread irrespective of what current legislation requires. Thus, the project included guidance on how to handle this.”
The Safe to Schools – Safe to Home project has a number of objectives. “This includes giving drivers the ability to apply first aid in emergencies. It gives parents confidence in a system on which they greatly rely. The aim is to also reduce the number of transgressions made by drivers. An ultimate objective is to reach a point where there are no crashes resulting in injuries or fatalities.
“The partners behind the project have been encouraged by drivers’ enthusiastic participation in the project and their commitment to sacrifice their own time and put full effort into making these objectives a reality. For now, the partners look forward to achieving even more and seeing an even greater reduction in death and injury of students while travelling.”
Toyota South Africa says they are making the projects as appealing and beneficial to the drivers as possible. “This included providing incentives such as winning monthly fuel vouchers for drivers with the least traffic transgressions per kilometre. In fact, eight finalists recorded no transgressions during monitoring despite mileage of 4 000km. Seven finalists also received a cheque of R10 000 each.
“An overall winner was awarded a new Toyota Quantum through a lucky draw ceremony in June. We commend the drivers for their commitment to the project and look forward to achieving even more in the future.”
The lucky winner of the Toyota Quantum, Nondomiso Hlengwa, was overcome with gratitude. “I will now be able to transport additional children. Previously, I was transporting learners with a Toyota Avanza and had to turn some away because there was no space and I did not want to overload the vehicle. The safety of learners is always my priority.”
The RSP-SA is proud to be a part of this initiative and congratulates all participants on their improvement and commitment to the program.